Less than a day after scoring eight runs to even up the series against the Astros, our boys did it again. An offense that was nonexistent in the opening game of the series completely turned it around and put eight runs on the board for their second game in a row. Our Padres have now scored seven or more runs in four of their last five games and seven of their last 15 games. In the 78 games prior to that, they had only been accomplished that feat nine times.
Clayton Richard once again found himself pitching deep into the game. He stayed on the mound for 8 1/3 innings (105 pitches), his second longest outing of the year, putting him up to 135 1/3 innings pitched on the year to lead the National League. He gave up four earned runs, scattering nine hits (two home runs) but walking none. Richard is now 5-3 in his last eight starts.
Richard ran into a little trouble in the 9th, giving up a solo homer, followed by a long single. Bud Black brought in Nick Vincent, who got the second out before giving up a walk. With two Astros on base, his night was done as Huston Street came in with the task of getting the final out. And Street delivered with a strikeout to Scott Moore to secure the victory.
But there wouldn't be a victory to secure if not for our resourceful offense. Astros sent out their ace, Wandy Rodriguez, but he wasn't able to quiet our bats for long enough. He was perfect through three...
OH MY WG YOU GUYS WANDY RODRIGUEZ IS THROWING A PERFECTO AGAINST THE PADRES RIGHT NOW.— Gaslamp Ball Interns (@GLBInterns) July 18, 2012
... but then our Padres piled it on with a five-run 4th inning. Alexi Amarista lead off the inning with a single and the first Padres hit of the game. Then Logan Forsythe walked and Chase Headley singled to load the bases with no outs for Carlos Quentin. With Quentin at the plate, Rodriguez threw a wild pitch that resulted in a run, and then walked Quentin to load the bases again. Chris Denorfia then came through with a 2-RBI single. Yonder Alonso immediately followed with a bases-clearing double to put the Padres on top 5-0 with still no outs in the inning. Rodriguez finally got it together and retired the next three Padres in order, but the damage was already done, as well as Rodriguez' night. His departure after the fourth inning marked the end of his NL-leading active streak of consecutive starts with 5+ innings pitched.
Another Padres run was scored in the 5th inning on throwing errors by Astros reliever Enerio Del Rosario and first baseman Matt Downs. In the 6th inning, Richard hit a long double that was just short of getting out of the park, but was still successful in scoring a run. Finally, Alonso doubled in the 7th to score Chris Denorfia for our eighth run of the game.
The Astros tried to keep themselves a game, starting with a three-run shot by Matt Downs in the 6th to cut their deficit in half. Downs hit another long ball in the 9th, but their attempted rally ended there. Their team couldn't quite overcome the errors and poor pitching that our Padres took advantage of.
Our boys put together yet another encouraging performance and are now 4-2 since the All Star Break. Tomorrow we'll get a chance for our second straight series win as we take on the Astros at 7:05.